Impeding Illness

It is always a good idea to try to give your immune system a boost around this time of year. Along with the cold weather comes more time indoors and less fresh air. And of course, with children back in school and being in the middle of a pandemic, some of us are trying to find any way possible to keep ourselves healthy.

It goes without saying: wash your hands, wear a mask, stay six feet apart when possible, stay home if you’re sick, etc., etc., etc. We’ve heard it all a million times over, especially in this past year, but it’s great advice. The best way to keep yourself and your family healthy is to avoid contact with viruses and other germs.

When we can’t do that, when we’ve done everything we can and still come into contact with germs, our next best bet is to have a healthy enough immune system to fight it off before it becomes an issue. Here are some immune-boosting ideas to try out:

Eat more vegetables. You’ve heard it from your parents since you were little, but they’re right! Eating a big dose of vegetables is, and always will be, good for you. Spinach, garlic, broccoli and ginger are a few veggies that are well known for keeping the immune system healthy and working to its full potential.

Eat at home. Not only does eating at home help avoid coming in contact with others’ germs, preparing your own food can be therapeutic. You also have more control over what ingredients you are putting in your body.

Collagen. Collagen is good for the skin and is known for its anti-aging benefits. It has also been known to help boost gut health and reduce anxiety. Most people choose to use a collagen protein powder, but you can also ingest collagen-rich foods such as fish, chicken, egg whites, citrus fruits and berries.

Fire cider. Fire cider is an immune-boosting tonic made of apple cider vinegar, horseradish, garlic, onion, ginger, citrus and a little bit of honey. Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar concocted this remedy in the 1970s and it’s been around ever since. It is said to have some antibacterial and antiviral qualities to it, as well, and can also be helpful to alleviate symptoms when feeling sick.

Probiotics. Probiotics are a great way to keep a balanced level of healthy bacteria in our bodies. Yogurt and kombucha are popular, simple ways to get in your daily probiotics, as are fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut. There are many different supplements available to take too.

Essential oils. Whether you use them in a diffuser, in sprays, bath soaks or even lotions, essential oils can not only help in boosting the immune system, they are also great for relieving stress and inciting a more restful sleep. Eucalyptus, ginger, peppermint, lavender, rosemary and tea tree are some essential oils that can be helpful in not only relieving cold and flu symptoms, but helping the immune system fight off any illnesses.

Green Tea. Used medicinally for centuries in China, green tea strengthens the immune system by protecting against oxidants and radicals. It does contain caffeine, though, so take care if you have a sensitivity.

Golden Milk. A traditional Indian drink well known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, golden milk is made from milk (non-dairy is fine too) and turmeric, along with other spices such as cinnamon and ginger, and is served warm. Turmeric is high in antioxidants and has the potential to prevent heart disease.

Sleep. Eight hours of sleep a night is a familiar recommendation. When consistent, getting a good night’s rest can help strengthen the immune system.

Exercise. Weightlifting, cardio and yoga are great for getting the heart pumping and aid weight loss — all of this can help alleviate stress and anxiety as well.

Drink plenty of water. Health experts commonly recommend eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day. Having an adequate water intake daily helps energy levels, can aid in weight loss, prevent headaches, help with focus and concentration and much more.

Bone broth. Rich in minerals, bone broth can build and strengthen bones. It also contains healthy nutrients including amino acids and essential fatty acids.